Next-gen Volvo XC90 (Hybrid) likely to be an extensive facelift [Update]

  • Volvo Cars to sell the XC90 alongside the upcoming EX90 electric SUV
  • Refreshed XC90 likely with similar dimensions & offer the same comfort of 7 seats
  • Expected to go on sale by 2025 with revised front & rear fascias in the U.S.
  • Prices likely to start from under USD 57k for the MHEV & USD 73k for the PHEV

Update: ‘Improved PHEV powertrain’ sub-section of ‘Electrified Engines’ updated.

The next-generation Volvo XC90 may not be the all-new vehicle fans have been waiting for. Rumors about a third-generation model have been swirling for about three years, but the automaker may unveil an improved version of the second-gen model with changes mainly to the styling and interior. Note that we’re speaking about the future of the combustion-powered XC90, not the all-electric EX90.

In an interview with Autocar in July 2022, Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Advisor – Group Management Team, Volvo Cars, said that when the company introduced the second-gen XC90, it wanted to increase its annual new vehicle sales from around 450,000 units to 800,000 units. The company is close to that goal, selling a little over 700,000 vehicles annually. In this context, the XC90 is a hugely important car for the company, accounting for a sizeable proportion of its sales and profits. In 2023, it was Volvo’s third best-selling model, with 107,549 units delivered globally.

Here’s our expectation from the new XC90, which should be revealed within a year. Note that Volvo has not offered information on the future XC90, and this article is a compilation of what has been reported, and our general expectations.

Design & Platform

The last major redesign of the Volvo XC90 occurred in August 2014. While one would expect a comprehensive update after almost a decade, the Swedes could retain the basic design, opting to update the styling.

The render below is TopElectricSUV’s interpretation of what the next-generation XC90 might look like. It carries revisions such as a new upper grille, a taller lower air intake, new Thor’s Hammer HD LED headlights in which the DRL light mechanically opens up to reveal the main light units, new, vertically stacked LED fog lamps located below the headlamps, a sportier front bumper, and new, five-spoke spoke alloy wheels, and reskinned door panels that modernizes the look.

2024 Volvo XC90 rendering
Buyers of new Volvo XC90 should expect a refined and evolved SUV, but not an all-new design. TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the new XC90 pictured.

The new headlights of the new XC90 may come from ZKW Group, a premium automotive lighting company owned by LG and based in Austria. The same company makes the headlights of the EX90 and the Polestar 3. Like the headlights of those electric SUVs, the new XC90 may have 1.3-megapixel modules.

Hakan Samuelsson, the former President and CEO of Volvo Cars, had hinted that the XC90 will get a second facelift following the first refresh in 2019. Volvo will not need a facelift if an all-new third-gen XC90 is in the pipeline as previously assumed. Samuelsson said that the company would “look into upgrading” the second-gen XC90 so that “it looks a bit better,” Automotive News Europe reported on February 15, 2022. The former company chief had said that demand for hybrid models still exists, especially in the U.S. and China.

Also Read: Lynk & Co 09 (Volvo XC90’s cousin) on sale in China

Electrified Engines

From a report published in June 2020, we learned that Volvo would offer the new XC90 in “B” mild-hybrid and “T” plug-in hybrid variants. This lineup is no different from what is available today and supported by the visual updates, the current vehicle should serve as the classic alternative to the new flagship electric vehicle, the EX90.

Improved PHEV powertrain

Volvo Cars brought a significant technical revision to the XC90 Recharge with the MY2022 update, well ahead of the redesign. The company updated the SUV’s plug-in hybrid system to produce more power.

Volvo Cars changed the XC90 Recharge’s 2.0-liter engine from a supercharged and turbocharged unit to a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit and switched to a more powerful electric motor. This upgrade increased the system power and system torque by 55 hp to 455 hp and by 51 lb.-ft. to 523 lb.-ft, respectively. The company replaced the battery pack, too, swapping out the 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with an 18.6 kWh unit.

As a result of the various revisions, the XC90 Recharge’s EPA-est. range increased from 18 miles to 32 miles, EPA-est. total driving range increased from 520 miles to 530 miles, and EPA-est. energy consumption reduced from 58 kWh/100 mi to 55 kWh/100 mi. It’s logical to expect the XC90 to make further gains with the facelift.

Volvo Cars has discontinued the use of the “Recharge” suffix for its plug-in hybrid vehicles. Moving forward, Volvo PHEVs will be identified using T6 or T8, depending on the level of power output. These changes should help customers avoid confusion between plug-in hybrid and pure-electric Volvos.

New Volvo XC90 Release Date

Refreshed in February 2019, the XC90 is the oldest SUV in the company’s line-up. We’re expecting Volvo Cars to launch a renewed XC90 in the U.S. either this year as the MY2025 series, or next year as part of the MY2026.

Updated upcoming Volvo electric cars
Volvo’s focus has already shifted to EVs. By 2030, it will stop selling combustion vehicles. Image: Volvo Cars.

The XC90 is a core product for Volvo Cars in the U.S., which, in turn, is one of the biggest markets for the model worldwide. In this region, it was Volvo’s best-selling product, with sales of 39,920 units, surpassing the XC60, representing a 17.1 percent YoY growth in 2023.

MY2024 XC90 PHEV for the U.S. released as a carryover model

Volvo Cars has given the XC90 a regular update and brought it forward to the 2024 model year. Multiple dealers listed the 2024 Volvo XC90 online, featuring no apparent design changes. We’ve seen it in stock at Maplewood, Missouri-based Volvo Cars Of Saint Louis, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Sesi Volvo Cars, Evansville, Indiana-based Volvo Cars of Evansville, Alpharetta, Georgia-based North Point Volvo Cars, and several other dealerships.

EX90: The XC90’s pure-electric alternative

Volvo Cars has unveiled the Volvo EX90 as a pure-electric alternative to the XC90, which will reach U.S. dealers this year. The company has adopted a dual-platform strategy. It has developed the ‘SPA2’ with two unique floor assemblies, one for the hybrid models like the XC90 that partially run on fossil fuel and one for the fully-electric models.

Volvo EX90 front three quarter live image
The Volvo EX90 will be launched this year as the XC90’s pure-electric alternative.

Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars, talked about the SPA2 platform with Green Car Reports in March 2021. Green said Volvo plans to manufacture the floors in parallel on separate lines, but for the ICE, it may be the current platform (SPA1) integrating a few improvements.

One floor is built around the flat battery with an e-machine in front and rear, very much the skateboard approach that you see pure electric vehicles are built on today. And there is another floor which is completely different, built with a combustion engine in the front, the prop shaft, an exhaust system, a fuel tank in the rear.

Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars

Volvo PHEVs & EVs models gain popularity worldwide

Volvo Cars says that the demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles is rising. Last year, Volvo Cars sold 113,419 BEVs, a growth of 70 percent compared to 2022, and 152,561 PHEVs, which was a 10 percent increment compared to 2022.

Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug in Hybrid
Volvo’s plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles represent the future in the U.S.

TopElectricSUV says

Despite a clear push toward electric vehicles, Volvo knows that gas-electric vehicles are still profitable and popular models, and has worked for years to achieve its current status. With many countries behind the curve on EV adoption, and question marks hanging over the state of the charging infrastructure in the U.S., electrified SUVs have a big part to play this decade as a bridge for customers who are reluctant to go fully-electric.

The Volvo XC90 should continue being popular with luxury family SUV buyers who seek high value for money, unmatched safety, and a true Scandinavian design. In particular, the XC90 PHEV will help ease customers into transitioning to the EX90.

New Volvo XC90 FAQs

What is the new Volvo XC90 release date?

The improved Volvo XC90 is expected go on sale in the United States by 2025.

Which models will the new Volvo XC90 compete with?

The new Volvo XC90 alternatives will include the likes of the BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes GLE.

What will be the new Volvo XC90 price?

Volvo Cars may price the restyled XC90 from around $57,000 for the mild-hybrid.

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of a refreshed XC90 with the latest design cues.